- Hardcover: 144 pages
- Publisher: Fantagraphics Books; X-Library edition (May 16 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1560976578
- ISBN-13: 978-1560976578
- Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 2.5 x 30.7 cm
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #746,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Sex, Rock n Roll & Op. Illusions Hardcover – May 16 2006
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*Starred Review* The reason so many hippies burned out may not have been too many drugs but too many hours spent trying to read Victor Moscoso's posters for the first generation of psychedelic rock concerts in 1960s San Francisco. This oversize gallery of posters, splash pages for Zap Comix and Moscoso's own one-shot comic books, a few of the artist's comics "stories," and sketches acknowledges in its first sentence what those fry-brain longhairs should have understood before it was too late: "Moscoso's posters are as illegible now as they were in 1967." Illegible then, illegible now, illegible forever. But mind-blowing as only a thoroughly trained (Cooper Union, Yale) artist could make them. Flouting conventional color complementation, Moscoso juxtaposed electrically bright, pure colors to produce illusory vibratory effects. Married to swirling letter shapes and imagery borrowed from nineteenth-century experimental photography and cinematography, his color storms became the standard for all other psychedelic art. It helped that he was an ace draftsman, especially when he switched from posters to comics, but his extremely plastic visual imagination was and is his biggest asset. Few other artists of any period have produced work of similar formal fascination: Escher, Monet, and some upon whose masterpieces Moscoso plays variations--Krazy Kat creator George Herriman, Klimt, Piero della Francesca. Which doesn't automatically make his stuff great art. But oh man, like, wow. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Victor Moscoso lives in San Francisco. Naturally.
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Unlike a lot of the other poster books I've purchased, this one features every piece of artwork on it's own page, with no commentary. There's a small blurb about each work at the end of the book from the creator. It's a great way to showcase the work, and I wish more collections opted for the layout. The descriptions at the end don't use page numbers, but image numbers (which don't appear on the page, argh!) which is a minor inconvience when trying to go back and forth.
The color reproduction is excellent. I saw a handful of these at the Boston MFA recently, and the colors in the book are just as vibrant and real as the ones I saw on display. Moscoso is a master of vibrating colors and after image. In one of the forewards of the book (one is by Milton Glaser) it's mentioned that Moscoso only produced 60 "psychedelic" posters in an 8 month period of the 60s. I don't think all 60 of them are represented here (didn't count them), but there were a few I haven't seen in other collections yet.
There's a couple of rough drafts used for some of the more famous posters leading up to the finished work. It's a shame that there wasn't more of these, as it helps to demonstrate the process used by the artist in the creation. A great example is the first Junior Wells poster he did for the Matrix. There's a black and white copy before he adds the colors, next to the finished one. The colors almost hurt when you view them, but you can see how strong the design is even without the colors.
The book covers more than his poster work, it also covers his album cover work and the comic book work he's done as well. I'm not much of a fan of his comic work, but the album cover design for Herbie Hancock's "Headhunters" is amazing. There's a great shot of the mask he has Herbie wearing on the cover.